Germination Tips


Spinach – Refrigerate seeds 1 week before sowing to help germination.

Onion Seeds – Pre-soak seed in compost tea for an hour to prevent damping off and other fungal diseases.

Swiss Chard – Soak seeds overnight before sowing to hasten germination.

Beet Seeds can benefit from a brief soaking in water for 4-6 hours before planting to soften seed coat.

Seeds that benefit from soaking in water:

Some seeds germinate quicker if they are soaked in water or water and a drop of vinegar before they are planted. Seeds with hard coats, big seeds, and seeds with wrinkled coats benefit from soaking in water before planting.

These seeds include asparagus, beans, carrots, corn, okra, parsley, peas, pumpkins, and squash. Beet seeds and Swiss chard seeds will benefit from soaking in water also. Put these seeds in a shallow bowl of water or place them on a damp paper towel and put them in a sealed plastic bag to soak up the moisture. Warm water will reduce the soaking time. Add a few drops of kitchen vinegar to the water; the acid in the vinegar will also help breakdown the seed coat. Soak these seeds just long enough for the seed coats to draw up moisture—about 12 hours or overnight.

Lettuce seeds (a lot of info at the link) can be one of the most difficult seeds to uniformly germinate due to thermodormancy and photodormancy. Lettuce will not germinate well if temps are too high or if seeds are in the dark.

  • To germinate the seeds, the best temperatures are between 70-85.
  • Light is the most overlooked part of growing lettuce. Since lettuce is photodorment it will not germinate in the dark. 
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